Ben’s bid to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks

MARATHON MAN Ben Godbold in action. Picture: Sarah Standing (131161-4885)

MARATHON MAN Ben Godbold in action. Picture: Sarah Standing (131161-4885)

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, second right, and Minister of State for Schools The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, centre, with representatives from Portchester Community School  and Henry Cort Community College

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SUPER-FIT Ben Godbold is well on his way to running 52 marathons in just 52 weeks for charity.

The 20-year-old, from Foster Road in Gosport, has raised £2,500 so far.

He started with the London Marathon, then ran his own in Gosport last week and the Milton Keynes Marathon on Monday.

As reported previously in The News, fitness fanatic Ben hopes to raise £100,000 over the year for his chosen charities Alzheimer’s Research UK, children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and the Alicia Pannell Fund.

And even a stress fracture in his right foot is not holding him back, with another run planned next week in Bournemouth, where he studies at university, or possibly again in Gosport.

The Olympic torch bearer said: ‘The run in Gosport was really good, apart from running into hailstones for three or four miles.

‘I did Milton Keynes on Monday, it was really tough that one.

‘It was so hot, I struggled to get round to be honest – I had to walk five or six miles of it.’

But Ben’s determination will see him through the rest of the year, even if he is forced to walk for eight hours to complete each marathon.

The cricket coach’s next major event will be at Edinburgh on May 26, which he says is Scotland’s version of the London Marathon.

He told The News mental preparation is key to getting ready for running the 26 miles,

And that is especially true when, like Ben, you may face the prospect of having to run two marathons in one week – just to complete the challenge.

He said: ‘You sort of have a mental preparation before the race.

‘You look at your route beforehand and you think “at that point I’ve got there” – you do one mile at a time.

‘When it gets to the 20 miles and you start to hit the wall, you just think about what motivates you while you’re doing it – it’s normally the crowd who shout your name.’

He said in Milton Keynes an old woman came out of her home and was clapping the runners.

And Ben hopes to run at both the New York and Berlin marathons and is looking for funding to travel.

He said: ‘The charities are phenomenal, I get responses and message from them all the time saying thank you.

‘I’m working with the charities now to go and visit the children with cancer at one of the wards.

‘I’m also trying to work with international organisations to try and spread their message more.’

For more about Ben, see his blog at bestfootforward52.tumblr.com

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